Paranormal Trends – Your Thoughts?

What are your thoughts about current and emerging paranormal trends?

Paranormal trends - your thoughts?In the past three weeks or so, I’ve received a virtual tidal wave of emails (and a few phone calls) from TV producers. They’re looking for a variety of things:

  • Ideas for new TV shows and series.
  • People to star on those shows.
  • People to be guest experts on those shows.
  • Researchers to find good locations for filming.
  • Researchers to dig deep to find related history, so the series/shows are authentic.

I’m a good historical researcher. Give me a topic or a possibly paranormal location, and I’ll find all kinds of related history and trivia to make the show more fascinating to viewers.

The rest…? Not so much. My only firm “no” is: I won’t appear in front of the camera. Not in the U.S., anyway. I value my privacy too much.

Since around mid-March 2018, TV-related emails and calls keep coming.  Lots of them.

So, dear reader, I’m looking for help.

I’m putting together a short article – and a free report – about emerging trends in paranormal research and entertainment.

I need your insights, to quote and – if you want me to – link to your website or social media account.

If you’re in my article or report (or both), it may increase your visibility. You might be contacted by a TV producer. If this sounds interesting, keep reading. (And yes, this is free. No strings attached.)

So far, I’ve identified the following five trends. You may or may not agree with me. I’m truly interested in your thoughts.

The Five Current Trends

  1. People are less interested in the adrenaline spike (“Dude, run!”), all by itself. Now, they also want more information, like exactly what is going on, and perhaps why it’s happening. They still want thrills, but they want to be assured that what they’re seeing is real.
  2. They’re revisiting the concept of haunted/energized objects. That covers “cursed” objects as well as weird things that keep landing back at the local second-hand shop. This is a more in-depth interest than in the past.
  3. The topic of demonic activity keeps cycling around, and it’s emerging again now. But, like point #1, above: viewers want deeper insights. (I’m not convinced this is suitable as “entertainment.” I’m just talking about trends I see in the ~500 emails I receive, daily, from my friends, fans, and followers.
  4. “Okay, it’s haunted. What now…?” That’s a comment I’ve been hearing as people joke about past TV shows. I’m not sure if they want a “where are they now?” segment about past show locations (and their owners), or if they want something that goes into really dealing with haunted houses.
  5. “What else is haunted/weird near [location]?” Or, “is there another place that has the same kind of weirdness as [location]?” Instead of a series of episodes that hop all over the landscape, people want a cohesive connection between the episodes. Think of it in terms of a scripted series, and each episode ends on a connected cliffhanger, not just a “Next week, on this show…” advertisement.

Okay, those are the trends I’m seeing in my research and in my inbox.

What I Need from You

I’ve asked several friends to share their thoughts and comments on these trends (and others that they see). But, I need to throw the information online, as soon as possible… and a lot of friends are as busy as I am. Or more busy.

So, I need your help.

Here’s what I can use:

  • Your views about paranormal trends in general, in real life and on TV, and what you’d like to see on TV (or even be involved with).
  • I’m looking for short blurbs (or single lines) I can quote in my article or free report. Think of this as a public service: with better TV shows, we may attract more serious, interested paranormal researchers. We need more (and better) research!
  • If you’re willing to work with TV producers, I’ll need a URL to link to, plus a short bio (which I may edit for clarity/length).

I need this information no later than Thursday, April 19th. (That’s when this request will vanish from this website.)

My article/report will be available on the 20th. The report will be a PDF anyone can download. I’ll share the link here, and at my Facebook Group (@FionaBroomeNews) and – automatically – at Twitter (@FionaBroome).

If you can share your insights about where paranormal research is going, next, or have other ideas & opinions to share, use this form:

(You can also leave a comment, but by April 20th, this entire article – and its comments – will vanish.)

Working with TV – Is There a Middle Ground?

Apparently, paranormal topics are trending again. Or will, soon.

So far this week, three TV producers and one radio show reached out to me. This has been going on for several weeks now. (It’s not entirely new. This happens in cycles, year after year.)

Those conversations can be tremendous fun, or they can be awkward.

Successful dialogues involve a shared, middle ground. That’s a place where we each understand the interests we share, and respect those that are very different.

(Note: The graphic with this article was supposed to look like a Venn diagram with a curious monkey in the middle. Now that I take a fresh look at it… umm.. maybe not. – LOL – But this is a busy day in a busy month. So, for now, I’m not reworking the graphic.)

TV for paranormal researchers - a middle ground?Most producers seem to want a fresh, marketable idea (or two or three) that condenses well into an elevator speech.

Their priorities are:

  • Can this idea become a popular TV series?
  • Is it new/unique enough to stand out, but still familiar enough for broad appeal?
  • Is this something people will enjoy watching?

In other words, their focus is on the entertainment value.

The problem is, paranormal researchers like me may have different priorities.

I’m looking for fascinating anomalies. Usually, they’re unexplained phenomena with (possibly obscure) historical connections, and cool locations where I can research them.

Usually, my questions are:

  • Does this topic seem fun and interesting to me, personally?
  • If I discover fresh information about this subject, will others want to know about it?
  • Is this kind of phenomena (in general or at a particular location) something other people will want to experience, too?

When a producer and I are on the same wavelength, our conversations can be animated and fascinating.

Most producers find me from my websites, books, or my new YouTube  channel.

Others met me at events like Dragon Con, or I was recommended by a mutual friend.

  • Currently, most producers seem interested in show ideas and cast suggestions. They also want to know about paranormal trends emphasizing ghost research, but not exclusively ghosts.
  • A few producers want to turn the Mandela Effect research into an unscripted series, or an episode in a paranormal series. (Most saw the X-Files (reboot) episode about the Mandela Effect. It was  a fun episode.) I’m not sure that’s possible.

 

In general…

In real life, I tend to startle producers. I’m not what they expected. For example, I’m a believer, but not gullible. (Well, not usually.)

Also, I’m eager to be involved in research (locations, and finding supporting historical evidence) so their shows are both compelling and credible.

And I’m happy to “talk shop” when time permits. If something I say sparks a TV series idea, I’m delighted.

But, I won’t appear in front of the camera. I value my privacy too much to risk that. (That preference, plus the fact that I take some paranormal phenomena seriously, makes some TV producers uneasy. We’ve lost that “middle ground.”)

Mostly, I agree with David Bowie who said, “I’m always amazed that people take what I say seriously. I don’t even take what I am seriously.”

I don’t believe all paranormal activity is ghostly. From infrasound to quantum explanations, many haunted places may be boringly ghost-free.

Likewise, some Mandela Effect reports might come from rushed (and wrong) news stories, premature obituaries, or something overheard and misunderstood. Confabulation can be in the mix, as well.

But  other alternate memories – and supporting evidence for them – aren’t so easy to dismiss. That’s my focus in that field of research… reported memories with startling consistencies I can’t explain.

Those are the things I want to say to producers.

Our “middle ground” is: presenting engaging stories that have depth and credibility, so viewers come back for more. (Today’s viewers  may become tomorrow’s researchers, who discover even more evidence to explain paranormal phenomena.)

 

Those are my answers. You might reply differently. (It’s a good idea to think about this before a producer contacts you.)

Understand the difference between researchers and entertainers. (That’s not binary. Some researchers are – or become – entertainers, and vice versa.)

Identify your own priorities, and consider others’ goals, prejudices, and interests.

There can be a middle ground. It’s important to find it so we can work together . The result can be better TV shows, and better paranormal research, too.

2018 – So Far, So Good

The past two years (or so) were tumultuous. I talked about that in my January 2018 post about what’s changing in paranormal research.

I spent a large part of 2017 re-evaluating my career direction, adjusting my business model, and taking preliminary steps – course corrections, in a way – to focus on my strengths.

In 2018, I’ve already made good progress. Here’s some of what’s been going on, behind the scenes.

Hallowfields, which will include all of my free ghost hunting courses, is still expanding. The first course – Introduction to Ghost Hunting – is at the site, and I’m adding to it, a little at a time.

Yesterday, we replaced all of my older YouTube videos to make each playlist distinct. It was a far bigger project than I imagined.

That paves the road so I can record & upload many more short videos for all of my websites, but especially for Hallowfields.

One of the most surprising aspects of that video project…?  Discovering how many decisions – and how many hours of work – go into an eight-second intro clip.  Wow. I have renewed respect for people editing TV shows and movies.

Meanwhile, editing and updating my books is also a more time-intensive project than I’d expected. Looking back, I regret asking my publishers to remove the old editions before the new ones were ready. (Oops.) I’m making progress, but have no ETAs yet.

Hollow Hill will be expanding, as soon as I have a little more time. For example, I still want to restore all of my podcasts, or at least the ones that are still valid. And, of course, add more articles.

People have asked why I don’t do more with the Mandela Effect site.

That’s complex.

First, MandelaEffect.com was intended as a “what if…?” site. It was a fun, quirky topic. For the first couple of years, it was a hobby site. I loved the weird, speculative conversations with people like Vivek, Julia, Mike, Martin, Gurluas, and so on.

Then, the topic’s popularity spiked and – with it – the time necessary to moderate/update MandelaEffect.com, as well as its hosting bills. Ugh. That’s not what I thought I’d signed up for.

Now & then, I consider redirecting traffic to the Wayback Machine. Then I realize the importance of the Mandela Effect site. It should remain online, and I should expand & improve it in my spare time.

Yes, I suppose I could go on TV & radio shows, or resume my guest appearances at Dragon Con, etc.  Yes, those could provide very nice income to support & expand the Mandela Effect website.

I turn down those opportunities, not just because I like my privacy. (But, that’s a large part of it.)

It’s also because the things some people say…  well, I don’t deal with those who insist that my motives are sinister.  Not when they’re extreme and high volume, and my rational arguments seem only to make things worse.

So, I opt for privacy and a happy life. I choose to do as much good as I can, online and in my community. Despite my unusual career, my life is pretty much mundane. I’m a devoted wife, a caring mom, and – in my own way – a hippie/idealist who just wants a better, happier world.

Every day, I like being the person who supports paranormal research with fresh ideas, important insights, and – for income – how-to books and some quiet, behind-the-scenes consulting for TV shows.

I know that old friends and new researchers are eager to learn about my newest discoveries. And I have so much to share, it’s probably time to post this and get back to work.

A Weird Kind of Fame

As someone who’s always preferred a quiet life, I’m always astonished (or perhaps aghast) when something I do attracts attention.

This week, it’s the X-Files.

HollywoodLife.com illustration

Really, they created an X-Files (reboot) episode around the Mandela Effect.

* blink, blink *

I think it’s Season 11, Episode 4, “The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat.”

I’m about to watch it on Hulu, and try not to act like a hyper-protective parent, as if the Mandela Effect is entirely mine.

Of course, my website kind of started it all. And yes, I popularized the phrase… but with the help of a few hundred thousand people who’ve had something to say about the topic.

But still, seeing it in an X-Files episode, for heaven’s sake… that’s just surreal. It’s like a part of my life, and it’s on the TV screen. I can’t seem to grasp that this is happening. Even if the show is tongue-in-cheek parody/humor.

At the moment, I’m stunned. And kind of chuckling over how weird this is. And then I’m back to blink-blink mode, kind of overwhelmed.

And, because this is how my mind works…

Since that TV show will bring a lot more attention to the Mandela Effect, I threw together some free iron-on designs that fans can use for DIY t-shirt printing. They’re linked in my MandelaEffect.com article, That X-Files Episode.

2018 – A New Year for Ghost Hunting

2018 has arrived, and I think it’s going to be one of ghost hunting’s most interesting years so far.

Over the past few years, things changed radically in paranormal research.  For example, TV shows took ghost hunting to extremes – sometimes truly ridiculous. (No, there is no evidence that “shadow people” kill anyone. Ever.)

The good news is: It looks like many (not all) popular media are more grounded, or at least moving their paranormal coverage in that direction.

In addition, a new generation of ghost hunters are entering the field. They have fresh ideas. New approaches. Interesting ways of looking at paranormal research. And some great questions.

But yes, they’re also a little jaded by how this field twisted and turned over the past decade or so.

Looking back, I think many of us feel that way, especially after seeing what greed can do. (The story of Ideal Event Management is so negative, I was on the fence about mentioning it. But now… well, it looks like a lot of friends & fans were impacted. So, I’ll address it here.)

I’d known Marc Tetlow from his earliest days in ghost hunting, back when he was a reporter in Nashua, NH, reading Hollow Hill articles on his lunch break.

I met him in real life after he started representing Jason Hawes & friends, when the Ghost Hunters TV series launched. That’s when Marc became my agent, as well.

Everything seemed fine until 2010. Marc created an embarrassing (and very public) scene at Dragon Con. That’s when I asked him to remove me from his list of clients.

In retrospect, I wish I’d been more outspoken about the problems I saw, before others lost tens of thousands of dollars to Marc.

Did I lose money to him? Maybe. There were a few red flags, but I have no idea.

I’m looking forward, not back. Providing great value and cool insights to my readers… that’s my biggest concern.

And, I think 2018 is going to open new doors to paranormal explorations and discoveries.

Yes, for many paranormal researchers, 2016 and 2017 were difficult years. People pointed to poorly attended events and sagging TV ratings. Several haunted sites reinvented themselves, omitting any mention of ghosts.

Even the Ghost Hunters TV series was cancelled.

To many people, things looked grim for ghost investigations.

But – as usual – my outlook was a little different. By mid-2017, I started seeing interesting new trends in the field.

That’s when I removed all of my indie-published books from Amazon, etc. They needed updates & rewrites. (For me, there’s no such thing as just “good enough” for my friends & fans. I always want you to have the best information I can provide.)

Ghost Hunting in Tilton, NH - 3rd editionSome of my friends did the same with their books.

One book I contributed to, Ghost Hunting in Tilton, New Hampshire, has been re-released this month. It’s more than double its previous size.

That book is in Kindle, and it’s 99 cents during January 2018. (Rue tells me there will be a print edition, later in January.)

Meanwhile, I’m revising my own books, but – during January – my free ghost hunting course is a higher priority. I expect to complete the videos and free worksheets, etc., around the middle of this month.

(March 2018 update: Okay, that was an unrealistic prediction. June is a more likely completion date for that first course.)

After that, I’ll be back at work on book revisions, new books, site updates, freebies, podcasts, videos, and – of course – quirky paranormal research ideas.

I’m excited about 2018. I think we’ll see some tremendous breakthroughs and exciting new trends in ghost hunting… and in paranormal research, in general.

I’ll update you with news, as I see things taking shape.

Thanks for your interest, support, and input about my sometimes-weird (but usually fun) research into odd phenomena.

I hope your 2018 is tremendous, as well.

Hallowfields Ghost Hunting Academy

Hallowfields Ghost Hunting Academy is my newest website. I’ve been working on this project since mid-2017.

HallowfieldsThe concept is simple: It’s an educational site for paranormal researchers, with entirely free courses.

Initially, I’d planned a generic name: Ghost Hunting Academy. One of my publishers secured that URL for me, and we set up a basic website.

Then I realized the name was too generic. It could be forgotten easily, or  confused with similar names like “ghost hunting school,” and so on.

After a few weeks’ thought, the name Hallowfields sounded good to me. It’s a little of Halloween, mixed with fields of paranormal study.

I decided to launch the site shortly before Christmas/Yule, and settled on today – December 15th – for the opening of the site. (It sounded good at the time.)

Well… it looks like I was a little too optimistic about the work involved. But, I launched the site today, anyway.

Full moonThe text for the first course, the 2017 edition of Introduction to Ghost Hunting, is complete and at the Hallowfields site.

The course has many new, free downloads – mostly worksheets – as well.

So, students can start the course immediately, and complete it. They’ll even receive a printable certificate/diploma at the conclusion.

But, that course doesn’t have all the bells & whistles I’ve envisioned. In fact, I’m currently working on videos to supplement it.

Those videos will probably start arriving at the website next week.

A software glitch delayed today’s video recording. But, I finally found the problem. Now, the first video – a very short one – is in the first lesson of the course. It’s a start. I’m feeling victorious.

I’ll add more free worksheets in the next couple of weeks, too.

At the start of 2018, I’ll be juggling books – mostly updates/revisions of my older books – and adding more articles and videos at HollowHill.com. I’ll create more courses for Hallowfields, and… I’m still not sure what I’m doing with the Mandela Effect site.

Mostly, I’m excited about the coming year, as I look ahead to 2018. I have the feeling it’s going to be a fun year.

I hope you’re enjoying a wonderful holiday season. Merry Christmas, Happy Yule, and a joyous… well, whichever holiday/s (if any) you celebrate at this time of year.

November 2017 Changes

Halloween houseWhew! Halloween is over. Most of the media requests have faded into memory, and my schedule is – once again – my own. Well… sort of.

Here’s what I’m working on:

  1. The free course, which will be one of several at Hallowfields Ghost Hunting Academy. Basically, I’m updating the free “Introduction to Ghost Hunting” course I created years ago, and adding new worksheets, videos, etc. ETA: mid-to-late December 2017. (I have other free courses in mind for 2018.)
  2. Videos for YouTube. I’ll be adding many more to improve my articles and free courses, and – of course – just for fun.
  3. Podcasts. I thought most of the old ones (nearly 100 podcasts) were lost. No, they were just hiding in archives I didn’t know about. Yay! So, I’m reviewing them. And, I’m adding the best to related articles at HollowHill.com. I’m also going to use some as soundtracks for YouTube videos.
  4. Books. Earlier this year (2017), I removed almost all of my books from publication. Most of them were in dire need of updates & corrections. I’ll be juggling those revisions with my work on courses, videos, and podcasts. With some luck, at least one of my books will be back in print by the end of 2017. (Which means 2018, since – in a preposterously optimistic, rosy haze – I tend to overbook my schedule.)
  5. Big website changes. On November 15th, EncounterGhosts.com will vanish, but only the URL. All of that website’s articles (and more) are back at HollowHill.com, and I’m expanding & updating that site, steadily. (All old Encounter Ghosts links will redirect to the new location.)
  6. Other website updates. I’m improving & updating the articles at Ghosts101.com. I’m also planning to republish the content as a book (print and digital) with about 20 new questions, answered. If you have a ghost-related question, ask it in comments at any of my websites, and I may add it to the book.
  7. Experiments. I’m working on a few weird & quirky ideas for remote (“armchair”) paranormal research. So far, I’m learning what doesn’t work, but a couple of things look promising. If this is fruitful, I’ll share more in 2018.
  8. And then there’s the Mandela Effect. I’m considering a few videos to explain my views of it. Well… maybe. In the past year or two, the topic took on a life of its own, sometimes in good ways… but also in oh-dear-heaven ways, as well. I’m not sure whether I should define my views so they’re clear, or stay out of the fray. (I see it as a fun, “what if…?” topic that went viral, mostly thanks to George Takei. And then, a few hundred thousand people added their ideas, and that number seems to keep growing, daily. To be honest, I’m kind of aghast.)

So, that’s what’s happening at my desk and in field research for the rest of 2017. I’m enjoying the peace & quiet, and opportunities to create cool new resources for paranormal researchers. Happy holidays ahead!

New Feature at Hollow Hill: Ask Fiona

Halloween moon with owl, tree, and batsHalloween is nearly here. Daily, I receive many questions in email. There’s no way I can answer all of them, individually.

So, I’ve decided to try an alternative: An “Ask Fiona” page where readers can post their questions as comments.

As time permits, I’ll reply with a short answer (and possibly a useful link or two).

For more complicated questions, I’m creating an “Ask Fiona” article series. That’s where I’ll reply with more detailed information.

Due to the volume of questions I receive, I’m not sure this is a good idea. It may be more than I can manage, with the rest of my research & writing.

But, it’s worth a try, and it may be fun.

If you have a question about ghosts, ghost hunting, or haunted places, here’s where you can ask: New Feature: Ask Fiona.

New Freebies Are Here

GhostbatFor Halloween, I hope to update all of my freebies. They include reports, checklists, and worksheets for ghost hunters. I’ve also updated some of my fun handouts from past Dragon Con presentations.

Most of them are ready now, and the files are at Google Drive. Anyone can download these freebies, so it’s okay to share those links with friends.

The list of 2017 freebies (with links) is at this site, on my Free Downloads page.

The same list is at Hollow Hill, as well, at http://hollowhill.com/downloads/

I’ll continue working on the remaining updates, plus some new freebies for this year. (Most of those won’t be available until late October 2017, because I’m also updating some of my books. And giving media interviews. And investigating more haunts. Yes, it’s a busy time of year, and tremendous fun!)

Hollow Hill Returns

Hollow Hill - the ghost hunting websiteThis week, we’re relaunching HollowHill.com.

Back in the mid-1990s, my ghost hunting articles appeared at GeoCities.

Then, in 1999, as that virtual community was phased out, I started Hollow Hill as a paranormal research site. (The name referenced Ireland’s “hollow hills” with a strong nod to Sleepy Hollow.)

But, by 2014, Hollow Hill had become a behemoth. I’d written over 700 ghost-related articles. Site navigation was a nightmare.

So, I split the articles into categories, and moved them — in groups — to nearly a dozen smaller sites like Ghosts101.com and EncounterGhosts.com.

Now, we have new navigation tools. Big sites are okay. So, Hollow Hill returns.

This has been — and continues to be — the big 2017 project.

Ghosts101.com101 Ghost Hunting Questions Answered is now a Q&A site based on my earlier ebook, 101 Ghost Hunting Questions, Answered.

EncounterGhosts.com will be phased out between now and mid-November.

As of last night, HollowHill.com has around 400 articles. We’re still fixing broken links, updating the articles, etc.

We’re also adding “lost” articles as time permits, to make the site more like my original Hollow Hill.

Meanwhile, between seasonal media interviews, I’m continuing to work on book revisions and new books. Fingers crossed, many will be in print by Halloween.